Part of teaching the High Conflict Diversion Program is to help parents learn to have some compassion for their child’s other parent. It is very hard to do, especially when they seem to go out of their way to make your life miserable, but learning to have compassion for them is not really about them. It is about freeing yourself from the wounds of your past and moving into a new future. You may not have control of the court battle, but you can control the future path you travel.
I know that many people enduring any prolonged conflict carry within them a lot of anger, hurt, resentment and pain. Sometimes we lash out at other people because of those feelings and emotions. It isn’t healthy to live life this way for very long. Stress and anger have deep effects on our mental and physical health. Those who continue living in the pain are more likely to repeat these patterns, or get stuck right where they are in life, waiting until something magical frees them. What they do not know is that the key to their freedom is within them. No one else can free you. You have to be willing to learn and grow and move away from that pain and into the freedom of a new life. It takes a willingness, some time, and an active effort to get there.
The following video is an awesome example of how to see people with compassion. You cannot know what is going on within your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or even your ex. We like to believe that we know the inner workings of our ex, and we may understand a great deal about them, but once we are no longer married to that person, we only think we know. Deep down there may be reasons for their behavior or reasons why they cannot move forward with their own life. You may never know what those reasons are. By treating them compassionately, you can start to empathize with them. You do not have to like them. You do not have to help them, but it would serve everyone well, even your children, if you could say, I am going to move away from this bitterness and have a happier life, regardless of what the other parent does. If you don’t know, the best revenge on an ex is to live a happy life. Happiness comes from giving others the benefit of the doubt when they behave badly, seeing your part in any conflicts and taking steps to correct that, and to be the best person that you possibly can. You will be an example for your children and you can teach them compassion by showing them how it is done.
Please watch this fantastic video from Fellowship Bible church in Arkansas. Make it go viral, please!